The median house price in Northland has jumped to a record $415,000, pushing more people particularly first home buyers out of the housing market.

In the year to April the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand said the median house price across Northland rose by 16 per cent, or $56,000, to sit at a record high of $415,000.

Prices rose 24 per cent in Whangarei, 23 per cent in Kaipara but fell 4 per cent in the Far North district.

The number of days to sell houses improved by two days to 37 days in April - seven days fewer than in April 2016.


Over the past 10 years the average number of days to sell during April for Northland has been 58 days.

"The REINZ House Price Index shows that Whangarei market activity is strong compared to a year ago and prices remain firm, although volumes are starting to see a downward trend," REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell said.

She said anecdotal evidence suggested buyers could be becoming more hesitant to purchase high priced houses.

The latest house price index follows a report by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, that shows 84.1 per cent of all Northlanders including first home buyers currently renting would, after they have bought a home, have less income after paying their mortgage.

Similarly, 76.6 per cent of all Northlanders currently renting have less income after paying their rents.

The Housing Affordability Measure is defined by how much money a household has left after meeting housing costs such as mortgage.

It finds the affordability level by measuring the income left over after housing costs, and then comparing that to a baseline figure extracted from the 2013 household economic survey.

That benchmark figure is $662 per week, adjusted for inflation and household size.
If a renter buying their first house has less than $662 a week after paying housing costs, it is considered unaffordable.


Add $331 for each extra adult in a household, and $199 for each child.

Whangarei financial adviser Darin Neeley said there were tons of options for first-home buyers to get into the property ladder.

"There's a lot of misinformation out there about the loan-to-value restrictions but loans get approved for around 10 per cent of deposit. Not all banks are created equal.

"Home buyers just need to be creative how they go about doing things. Sometimes some banks they approach have a limited amount of money but other banks may be flexible and are able to lend," he said.

The owner of Next Mortgages said banks could legitimately get around Reserve Bank rules that limit the amount commercial banks could lend for less than 20 per cent deposit.

Mr Neeley said first-home buyers could utilise their personal savings, KiwiSaver and Housing New Zealand deposit subsidy to get on to the property ladder if they so wished.